Russia to Invest Over $50 Billion In Space
Putin announces plans to invest over $50b over the next 7 years in space exploration. The translation of the speech is below the second video.
“Dear colleagues, let me wish you a great Cosmonautics Day. For over a century Russia has been a leader in the exploration and use of space. It is obvious that Russia should retain its position of a leading space power in the 21st century. Its activities in space should be highly efficient to encourage Russia’s innovative development, achieve a wide range of practical objectives in industry, medicine, telecommunications, and strengthen Russia’s security and its competitiveness in the world.
That’s why we will continue to place an increasing priority on the development of our space potential.
In 2013, we have allocated around 181 billion rubles [$5.9bln] to Russian space programs, which is over three times as much as in 2008. We have the third biggest space budget, next only to the US and the European Union, and Russia’s annual government funding for these programs grows nearly five times as fast as that of the leading space powers.
In 2013-2020, we are planning to allocate some 1.6 trillion rubles [$52 bln] to space exploration programs, with a focus on the best practical solutions. One of them is putting into service Cosmodrome Vostochniy. Russia should have its own reliable platform to tackle the whole range of space-related objectives. Today we have inspected the cosmodrome construction site. The first launch is scheduled for 2015, and in 2020 Vostochniy is to start operating at full capacity. It means that space station modules, spacecraft that will explore the Moon, Mars and other planets will be launched from here. The cosmodrome is to become a key part of Russia’s aerospace sector and a leading innovation center that would facilitate development of our country and the Far East. We aim to work on various projects, such as designing new launch vehicles and spaceships for different purposes, as well as rocket engines with a much higher capacity than the previous generation. One more important thing is that we have to define how the sector is to be managed in order to achieve all our goals.
The state owns pretty much everything in the space sector, or has the majority stake. So I’m not ruling out the option of setting up a specialized ministry, and I would urge Dmitry Rogozin, the prime minister and the government as a whole to think it over again. For that end, of course, we will need the right staff, no doubt about it.”
Is this the beginning of a new space race?